Photographing police to be made illegal

It will soon become an offence to photograph a police officer. Officially the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 which amends the Terrorism Act 2000, will only make photographing police officers an offence if terrorism is suspected. However the widespread fear is that this law will be abused. Below are the figures from the government for the period between 11 September 2001 – 31 March 2007 which appear to demonstrate that the Terrorism Act 2000 has been widely abused by the police. They show that 1228 arrests were made under the terrorism act and yet 669 were released without any charge at all. So more than half people arrested under this serious charge were released with no charges at all – suggesting that they actually no danger at all.

The UK police terrorism arrest statistics (excluding Northern Ireland) from 11 September 2001 – 31 March 2007 show 1228 arrests were made:

1165 arrests under the Terrorism Act 2000
63 arrests under legislation other than the Terrorism Act, where the investigation was conducted as a terrorist investigation

Of the total 1228 arrested:
132 charged with terrorism legislation offences only
109 charged with terrorism legislation offences and other criminal offences
195 charged under other legislation including murder, grievous bodily harm, firearms, explosives offences, fraud, false documents
76 handed over to immigration authorities
15 on police bail awaiting charging decisions
1 warrant issued for arrest
12 cautioned
1 dealt with under youth offending procedures
11 dealt with under mental health legislation
4 transferred to Police Service of Northern Ireland custody
2 remanded in custody awaiting extradition proceedings
669 released without charge
1 awaiting further investigation

Of those charged:
41 Terrorism Act convictions to date
183 convicted under other legislation: murder and explosives offences (including conspiracies), grievous bodily harm, firearms offences, fraud, false documents offences, etc (this includes the 12 cautions detailed above)
114 at or awaiting trial

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